Answers for your specific questions.

Wondering about your health? Confused by what you’ve read? Browse our Ask the Nurse answer archive to find answers to many women's health questions and concerns. All answers are from a Cleveland Clinic women's health nurse.

Ask the Nurse Archive

Is it okay that I stopped my hormone therapy?

March 6, 2014 at 10:36am

I am 49, in excellent health, watch what I eat, am a diligent runner (5 miles, 4 days a week) and workout with weights 3 days a week. I had a complete hysterectomy and have been on Estrace 2mg tablet daily since, and it has worked very well for me. I take Estrace the last weekend of each month and do not take it for 4 days, which was a suggested "break" by my doctor a couple of years ago and that worked fine. My only problem has been the beginnings of osteoporosis, which now I am on Fosomax weekly for that.

At my annual visit this year, my doctor (not a GYN) told me to read the pros and cons on HRT and decide whether I wanted to continue it or not. I have been confused over the years with the mixed reports and try to stay abreast of current information. So, I stopped taking my Estrace about a month ago and began using a natural Progessence Oil (by Living Well). I chose that route because my sister-in-law is an RN and suggested I might try it --- she is a huge believer in the oils.

However, I have hot flashes and hot flushes all through the day and they wake me up several times during the night. My moods are fine, but my weight gain is as if I can see the pounds go on each day. I am 5’2" and petite and have always been small, but I make sure I watch what I eat.

I have no family history of breast cancer, but my father did have a heart attack 20 years ago and has done great since and I personally have no health issues other than the beginnings of osteoporosis, which I chalk up to my body frame more so than anything. I would appreciate any input you could give to help me better understand and decide if I should begin the Estrace again. I do not like what is going on with the flashes and weight gain! Thank you.

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Soy and Menopause

March 1, 2014 at 7:37am

I am a little confused as to why people generally say that eating soy is bad for you, as in it’s full of synthetic estrogen.

Would this not be good for a woman who is menopausal as she will have low estrogen levels?

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Weight Loss During Menopause

November 26, 2013 at 4:27pm

I’m officially in menopause and gaining weight. What are some strategies for weight loss that will work for me now?

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Do I Need Progesterone Cream?

September 26, 2013 at 9:35am

I am post-menopausal and have horrible hot flashes, insomnia and anxiety. I don’t have a uterus, so should I still take bio-identical progesterone cream to avoid estrogen dominance?

I have gotten two different answers about taking progesterone cream from local gynecological doctors. There is too much conflicting information out there, so thank you for your help.

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Menopause and Weight Gain

September 23, 2013 at 1:43pm

I’m officially in menopause and gaining weight. What are some strategies for weight loss that will work for me now?

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Hysterectomy and Hot Flashes

August 7, 2013 at 10:58am

What is the best hormone therapy (HT)? I had a hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy when I had surgery for creation of an ileostomy. I still have issues with hot flashes, but I do not like taking pills. Is there another option?

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Perimenopause Symptoms

April 22, 2013 at 10:15am

Can hormone changes during perimenopause cause vulvar burning, itching or redness?

Tests ruled out any infection, and multiple treatments with topical steroids only make the symptoms worse. Oral steroids have not helped either. I have gone soap-free for that area and for undergarments as well. It is very uncomfortable for even simple activities like walking and sitting.

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April 4, 2013 at 1:54pm

Recently, I’ve been having a problem with my body overheating. I’m 71 years old and post-menopausal. It’s a very uncomfortable situation, and I would like to know if there is a natural way to balance my hormones without going on HRT.

I didn’t experience any problems going through menopause, it was a breeze for me. I keep a close eye on my blood pressure and it is steadily normal. Normal for me is on the low side, which is lucky for me.

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Do Fibroids Shrink After Menopause?

August 31, 2012 at 3:03pm

I’m 45 years old. I am not pregnant and do not have a period. I do have a large fibroid.

Can the fibroid shrink on its own if I’m going through menopause? Should I get a hysterectomy to get rid of the large fibroid?

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Vaginal Treatments

August 30, 2012 at 2:49pm

I am on topical, bioidentical estrogen and progesterone creams. I still get vaginal dryness and itching and urinary tract infections. Is there anything else I can do to alleviate those symptoms?

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